by Steven Chan
12 July 2009
In Rom 10:9-10 the Bible states that “if thou shalt confess with thy mouth Jesus as Lord, and shalt believe in thy heart that God raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved: for with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” The point to note is the reference to two parts of our bodies: the mouth and the heart. For one to be saved, both the mouth and the heart must be in sync as regards our belief that Jesus is the Son of God. Too often the emphasis is placed on the mouth and its verbal confession – but not sufficient emphasis is placed on the state of the heart. One may satisfies the crowd by uttering with his mouth that he believes that Jesus is Son of God BUT if his heart does not really believe what he has verbalized then his confession will not save him – neither will his subsequent baptism be of any efficacy for his salvation – for the Lord Jesus has said in Mark 16:16 that only if one believes and then is baptized, would there be salvation for such one (Acts 2:38; 8:37).
As parents and teachers of the Word, we have an obligation to teach in such a way that hearts are touched by the power of the Word of God so that they truly believe in their hearts that Jesus is Lord – before they submit to the requirement of baptism. To the one who seeks to be baptized, the process should be similar to that posed by the Eunuch in Acts 8:36, 37, when he said, “Behold, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believest with all thy heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”
“If thou believest with all thy heart” – that’s the key requirement! For in Psa 14:1 the Bible declares that the fool sayest in his heart, there is no God! The unbeliever says it in his heart – that which is hidden from our sight and knowledge! Hence, we need to address the heart and make it clear that those who profess that Jesus is Lord, truly believe in their hearts. It is not a matter of just getting them to be willing to be baptized.
Brethren, there I sufficient evidence for one to believe that there is a God in heaven who created the universe and all things in it, including man. For in Rom 1:19-21, the Bible deaclres: “that which is known of God is manifest in them; for God manifested it unto them. For the invisible things of him since the creation of the world are clearly seen, being perceived through the things that are made, even his everlasting power and divinity; that they may be without excuse: because that, knowing God, they glorified him not as God, neither gave thanks; but became vain in their reasonings, and their senseless heart was darkened.” Note the latter part emphasized that their “senseless heart” was darkened! The heart of unbelief is the problem!
The Bible tells is in Psa 119:9: “Wherewith shall a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed thereto according to thy word”. The young man must be taught to know that God’s Word should be respected. Parents are reminded in Deut. 6:6-7: “And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be upon thy heart; and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thy house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.” The emphasis is not that the Sunday School that must teach the young; it is the parents in the home who must do the teaching – and not that process of teaching has to be done along life’s way – as we talk with our young children, when we walk with them, and in all the activities that we share with them. When parents fail to impart the teachings of God throughout life’s journey (and instead often just rely on the Sunday School to do that job) then one wonders why the faith is missing from the life of their children!
The real gift that we can leave for our children is the heritage of faith in God as the Bible itself says: Prov. 3:1-7: “My son, forget not my law; But let thy heart keep my commandments: For length of days, and years of life, and peace, will they add to thee.
Let not kindness and truth forsake thee: Bind them about thy neck; Write them upon the tablet of thy heart: So shalt thou find favor and good understanding In the sight of God and man. Trust in Jehovah with all thy heart, And lean not upon thine own understanding: In all thy ways acknowledge him, And he will direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes; Fear Jehovah, and depart from evil:”
As stated in Psa 37:31, “the law of his God is in his heart; None of his steps shall slide”.
We need to review carefully what we share with our children for the know where our hearts are – regardless of what we may say with our mouths. It may be that our actions and attitudes betray our real beliefs! Could it be that some of us may well be saying in our hearts, “there is no God”!?